“People of the Falklands want to remain British” and they will be defended
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday no one should doubt his determination to keep the Falkland Islands British as he dismissed President Cristina Fernández announced complaint to the United Nations.
“The people of the Islands want to stay British and the UK will defend the territory properly to make sure they do so”, Cameron told reporters in Stockholm.
Likewise, Cameron warned that “Argentina will find when she goes to the United Nations that it is an absolutely key part of the United Nations Charter to support self determination”, and added, “What we’ve said is absolutely clear and right under the United Nations, as long as the people of the Falkland Islands want to retain that status, we will make sure that they do.”
The statements came after Cristina Fernández said on Tuesday that she will lodge a complaint with the UN Security Council over the UK’s “militarization” of the southern South Atlantic and the Islands.
The move follows Britain’s announcement to send one of its newest destroyers, HMS Dauntless, on the South Atlantic patrol to take over from an older ship HMS Montrose. Prince William is also in the Falklands as helicopter pilot of the Search and Rescue service, a routine rotation of RAF SAR crews.
“We will defend the Falkland Islands properly,” Cameron said. “I think that is very simply put, very straightforward and shouldn’t leave anybody in any doubt about our support for the Islands, for their people and for the status they themselves want to maintain”.
On Wednesday a Foreign Office spokesperson denied any militarization of the South Atlantic arguing that “our defensive posture in the Falklands remains unchanged, though we remain firmly committed to the defence and security of the Falklands”.
It added that “the people of the Falkland Islands are British out of choice. They are free to determine their own future, and there will be no negotiations with Argentina on sovereignty unless the Islanders wish it”.
Further more the FCO spokesperson underlined that “the UK has no doubt about our sovereignty over the Falklands and the principle of self-determination, as set out in the UN Charter, underlies our position”.
Finally, ”the UN action is a matter for Argentina. The Falklands is already discussed annually in the C24 Committee”.
From the Falklands Dick Sawle, elected member of the Legislative Assembly said he welcomed Argentina's plan to protest to the UN.
“The reason why I welcome that is that the United Nations ought to look at the decisions it has made in the past” which favour self-determination. “I think that the British government is absolutely right to back that fundamental right that we have to self-determination, and this is the cornerstone of the UN of course.”
He added that Falkland Islanders “do not wish to be taken over in any way, shape or form by Argentina. That is absolutely fundamental”.
MLA Mike Summers also pointed out that Argentina are very welcome to take the “militarization” issue to the UN Security Council and General Assembly but they should be aware that “as guardians of the principle of right to self-determination, this issue would also be raised in the context of any discussion regarding the Falkland Islands”.
Finally if Cristina Fernandez would sincerely like to “give peace a chance”, a phrase she has used to urge PM Cameron to the negotiation table, “she should consider removing the punitive measures she has put in place in an attempt to force Islanders to bend to the will of her government”.